“Project Runway” recap 10.9: “An homage to a menstrual cycle”

It’s down to eight designers, and we’ve reached the HP Intel Make-Your-Own-Textile challenge. And, Mondo is here! Yay! We get to see a flashback to when Mondo won this challenge during his own season, when he came out as HIV positive on the runway. I had forgotten what a truly remarkable, moving, and empowering moment that was. I want a gif of the magical moment when, at the end, he says, “I feel free,” with a teary, joyful smile. That three word sentence has the possibility of coming off so cornball, except when it comes from the mouth of someone who really means it. Then it’s the best three word sentence in the world.

But back to reality! Tim tells the designers their pattern will be inspired by their cultural heritage, to which everyone nods in serious affirmation. Except for Christopher, who says that he doesn’t know much about his cultural heritage, and who already seems to be facing this challenge with a blank, disappointed look on his face. While half of me worries I’m being too judgmental, the other half of me is really irked by this, because it seems like such a typical white male thing to say. Everyone has a heritage — everyone! You don’t have to have grown up in a different country, as Elena and Dmitry did, to have heritage. You don’t even have to know a lot about your family history, if you’re not close to your family. Your heritage is what you make your family: it could be the place you grew up, the people who supported you, the parts of your background that shaped you. Just because your profile fits the majority doesn’t mean you don’t have heritage.

So, there’s my rant for the day! Tim has also told the designers they will have special guests bringing them something to help with their cultural inspiration. The door opens, a lady starts to walk in. I yell, “MOMMIES!” A second later, Sonjia yells, “MOMMY!” Yay! As if my emotional hackles weren’t already in a mess from Mondo Memories, we then witness lots of hugging and crying. Here’s a bunch of pictures because there’s not much I like better than hugging.


While the majority of visitors are moms, there’s also sisters, best friends, and in Fabio’s case, boyfriends. Fabio is so excited to see his boyfriend that I just want to ruffle their hair and squeeze them both. The visitors have brought another HP laptop — holy crap, how much HP swag is in this room right now! — full of photographs from the designers’ childhoods, just to up the “awww” factor of this whole scene even more. One of my favorite duos is Elena and her mom, who stands almost a full head shorter than her daughter. Their hugs are perfect. Elena says that this was exactly what she needed to help relieve her stress; that she’s “not normally a bitch.” She feels so light and happy afterwards that she literally skips and jumps around Mood, which is one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

As for people’s actual patterns, everyone’s looks unique, which is a good thing. Christopher continues to be a whiney-pants by saying that he “hates” prints and doesn’t work with them. After hearing 10 seasons worth of this repetitive whine from designers, I’ve deduced there are two ways to deal with confronting a design aesthetic you’re not used to. You say, “Hm, OK, this isn’t really my thing, so this is going to be a challenge, but I just have to do my best.” Or you take Christopher’s route and say, “Ugh, I hate this, ugh, life is so hard,” and spend the whole episode pouting and sighing. I’m sick of this latter route, designers. Make better choices.

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